Citroen has for a long time been known for being innovative, and for keeping up with the latest fashion trends when it comes to their cars, and this is true of their Citroen C3. But this hasn’t always been the case when it comes to their smaller cars. Their supermini’s have never quite been blessed with the kind of ingenuity and ambition that has been reserved for their bigger models, with the Saxo, a popular car throughout the nineties, nothing more than a renamed Peugeot 106, and the first generation C3 bland and forgettable. But all that might be about to change.
The Citroen C3 brings Citroen’s supermini’s into the 21st century with a focus on efficiency, and with a dash of innovation that’s probably as much as you can afford a practical, family-focused supermini. It’s sleeker, comes with a range of 3 cylinder pure-tech engines, puts purpose before sporty pretensions and is as comfortable and affordable as you’d want. Let’s find out more.
Most supermini consumers will probably admit to not buying smaller cars so that they can thrash them around the place as though they’re in a rally car competing with backwoods brawlers. Unlike what the magazine scribes might write, supermini consumers actually prefer cars that ride smoothly, flowing neatly and beautifully from corner to corner with unfazed motion. Which is actually what small French cars have always been able to do. Except, perhaps, the Citroen C3 M1.
The Citroen C3 is a different story, however. It does everything you’d expect a small French car to do, strolling around unearthly British roads with a smoothness and contentedness that makes driving a wistful dream. Perfect. This huge improvement on the MK1 is largely down to the enhanced anti-roll bar rates, as well as an improvement of 20% in the damping rates. This means the new Citroen C3 won’t bellow and roll stubbornly, but will instead offer a much tauter drive. This will certainly be music to Citroen fans’ ears, with even the critics being unanimously positive, Citroen C3 Picasso reviews in particular coming in with a plethora of praise.
The car doesn’t do brilliantly in the speed stakes, but does now come with 3 cylinder petrol engines that will appeal to green-minded drivers. The 1.0 litre 68 bhp variant can reach 62 mph in 14.2 seconds from rest, whilst the more popular 1.2 litre bhp version can reach 62 mph in 12.3 seconds en route to a top speed of a respectable 108 mph. The Citroen C3 AirDream manages 83.1 mpg, with most Citroen C3 mpg figures being good.
Comfort Before Dynamism
The Citroen C3 is competing with the Ford Fiesta in the supermini sector, which is the dominant force. But where the Fiesta offers a more dynamic, compelling look, despite their similar sizes (which are pretty much identical) the Citroen C3 goes for a more refined, laid-back look that appeals to more, well, refined, laid-back consumers. This is helped by a focus on a short bonnet, an arcing roof line, a comfortable cabin, and side windows which are lower than the bonnet line. This isn’t to suggest that there’s an absence of style, with the French brand adding a double chevron grill, fashionable LED daytime running lights, as well as cool reflectors attached to the bumper that really give it a stylish, contemporary look.
One of the most glaring embellishments you’ll notice once you get behind the wheel is the optional addition of a neat panoramic zenith windscreen. Whereas the normal angle of vision in a cabin is a mere 28 degrees, once you push the sun visor up in the C3, this increases to an incredible 108 degrees. It really adds to the airy, spacious dynamics. This spaciousness is extended to the boot, where the 300 litre capacity is actually a tenth bigger than the Ford Fiesta’s. Indeed, you won’t actually believe that there’s any difference in size between the C3’s boot and that of a Focus.
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